U.S. embassy guards cited for lewdness

Sept. 2, 2009 at 7:34 AM
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KABUL, Afghanistan, Sept. 2 (UPI) -- An independent U.S. watchdog group says private security contractors at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul are compromising security with lewd behavior.

The Project on Government Oversight says morale problems are being caused within the force of 450 guards at the compound by the actions of some, allegedly including the hazing of subordinates, drunkenness and bringing women believed to be prostitutes into nearby Camp Sullivan, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

"The lewd and deviant behavior of approximately 30 supervisors and guards has resulted in complete distrust of leadership and a breakdown of the chain of command, compromising security," POGO wrote in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

"These are very serious allegations, and we are treating them that way," State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told the newspaper. "The secretary and the department have made it clear that we will have zero tolerance for the type of conduct that is alleged in these documents."

The Post said the guards work for ArmorGroup North America, which has a $180 million annual contract with the State Department to protect the embassy.

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